God in a Hurry

commuters_2_smRecently, computer problems at work caused me to have to shut down my computer and restart it. This was a routine delay of two minutes, maybe three, while my computer reset and I reentered my password. Immediately, however, I reached for my iPad sitting nearby. I logged on and while my desktop reset, I did a few minutes’ worth of internet browsing from my iPad. Ridiculous, isn’t it? I wasn’t even productive for the few minutes I was online, but to just sit there and wait seemed unthinkable. The thought of waiting while something resets, restarts, or loads is a concept so foreign to most of us now that waiting for almost anything seems a waste of valuable, precious time.

Last year I had the privilege of meeting Sarah Thebarge, author of the book Invisible Girls, and hearing her speak. She spoke beautifully and eloquently of her battle with cancer, as chronicled in her book, and a family of Somali refugees she met during that battle that changed her perspective on life. Of all the insight she shared when she spoke, what stayed with me were her comments on the timelines we often have for God. She said that while we often attribute our own timeline to God, wanting God to act on our schedule and within our understanding, God is not in a hurry. We pray with urgency for God to heal, or save, or act in a certain way, and are frustrated when our timelines are not met. I thought that was such a beautiful perspective, and vowed to apply it to my everyday life.

I failed immediately, of course, just as I did when I refused to be computer-less for two minutes. (The fact that I even have two, in fact three, computers in easy access is ludicrous in its own way). It is easy for us to lament the way “these modern times” have stolen our souls and rendered us unable to relax and enjoy life, but we affirm that mindset every day. We switch from our iPhones to our iPads to our laptops, we calendar every moment and plan every day, and we live with a mental “to-do” list which would take us at least two weeks of vacation to accomplish. At least, I am guilty of these things.

Recently my son has become enamored with the planets. He can name them and tell you facts about each, facts that we had to go to the library to learn because I realized I knew very little about these celestial bodies. In the reading and the telling and the learning, I have been reminded about how infinite this creation is, and how finite we are. It is nearly impossible to imagine stars which are more than a lifetime’s travel away from us, yet we can see with the naked eye in the night sky. It is sobering to imagine a planet which is more than 300 times as massive as ours. It is difficult to imagine a God who created this span of universe being overly concerned about a 5 p.m. deadline or an 8 o’clock bedtime.

So I have committed myself again to try to live on more of God’s timeline. I will fail often, I am sure, but I will try again. To allow myself to wait, and sit, and breathe. To not be constantly in a hurry, anticipating the next delay and fearing the next deadline. To not be agitated and annoyed when that bedtime is long past and my son still wants to hear stories about the planets. We of course live in a world of clocks and calendars, and that is how our daily lives are managed, but our spirits have no such schedule.

Let us breathe deep the magnitude of God’s creation, the wide span of God’s imagination. The arc of God’s timeline is so vast as to be overwhelming, but it gives us space and time to be. To rest. To wonder. To marvel at a universe set in motion by a God who is not running late or surprised by a deadline. Our God is never in a hurry.

Photo Credit: Donyale Leslie

Photo Credit: Donyale Leslie

Kimberly McClung DeVries was raised in a minister’s family, first overseas as missionaries and then in Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia to receive a degree in telecommunications, worked briefly in that field, and then went to law school instead, also in Athens. She has worked as a public defender and for a legal aid agency, and now resides in Mississippi with her husband and two boys. Kimberly is trying to grow by pushing herself out of her comfort zone. To that end, she has a toddler and a baby, both boys, works full time as a lawyer, and is also helping her husband survive his PhD.

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  1. Oh this is not self-promotion it is a much needed reminder for all of us. We are all too busy and we are not content to just be quiet or to do spiritual battle on behalf of others. The sad thing is that we become a stumbling block in our own lives…stunting our spiritual geowth and missing out on the best God has for us.

  2. Beautifully written and God-inspired, Kimberly. I miss your smile and presence, so this is a double blessing. Love to the family.

  3. Patricia Edwards says

    I enjoyed your article. I did not know you are an attorney!

  4. Dottie Smith says

    I know Kim & her husband personally…. They are a joy & a blessing to all.. Thanks Kim for the beautiful reminder of this beautiful truth